Okay, so it's only been 3 months since Impossible Marriage closed. Not too bad, right?! ;)
As always, I wanted to reflect on my latest production, if only to give you a glimpse into my strange theatre life. If you've been following my site, you know that I've been a busy lady this year, which is a big reason why my posts and updates have been MUCH less frequent. I was in 6 shows this season, which is 4 more than my average. What was I thinking?!
Anyway, on to the show! Impossible Marriage was my first "starring" role in a while, which was exciting. For this production, I had to sing, speak in a dialect, play the harp, "dance," and move like I was pregnant. My character, Floral Whitman, is definitely one of my favorite parts to date. She's feisty and intelligent. It can be hard to find great female roles, so I cherished every moment as Floral.
Impossible Marriage is about a family preparing for a controversial union. Young Pandora is to wed a much older Edvard Lunt, a well-known author who divorced his wife of 23 years to be with Pandora. Floral Whitman, Pandora's older sister, is pregnant and unhappy in her own marriage. In an act of love (and perhaps, jealousy as well), Floral decides to break up her sister's marriage through a series of manipulative interactions. Along the way, she confronts her past and reveals a secret that has haunted her for 9 months. Despite their fears, the characters find a way to conquer the impossible and as a result, become much happier people. The end. Oh, and it's a comedy. ;)
You're probably wondering what I learned this time. Well, since you asked, I'll tell you. This role reminded me why I push myself as hard as I do. Our lives are precious. We have an opportunity to make a difference, to be the best version of ourselves, to look back with no regrets. I want to be remembered as someone who worked hard. I want to think about my life, mistakes and all, fondly. I never want to miss out on something magical because I was too scared to try and perhaps, fail.
Four years ago, I was a much less happy version of myself. I gave up theatre to finish school and then lost all confidence to jump back in. I didn't want to see plays because they made me feel sad - I wanted to be up there with them, but "knew" that I wasn't good enough. One day, I decided I had to audition for something. I didn't feel fulfilled. All I had was work and since my husband was in grad school, I was alone a lot. So, I went for it. During the audition, I felt like I was going to pass out and throw up, my hands were shaking, and I tried desperately to blend into the background in the waiting room. When I got the call that I earned the part I wanted (the smallest one possible!), I couldn't believe it.
When I look back at that time, I both cringe and smile. I was horrible. No, seriously. I was. I didn't remember anything about performing, but because of my supportive director, stage manager, and castmates, I slowly got more comfortable on stage again. Now, I am certainly not an expert, but I can see the growth in my acting abilities. To some extent, it's luck that got me where I am today in theatre - the right part, the right look, the right voice, etc. However, I also was whipped into fighting shape by hours of rehearsals and amazing directors who knew exactly how to challenge me.
As we prepare for this school year, remember that it's okay to start off a little rocky. Just keep working at it, lean on those around you, learn from the "experts," don't be afraid of pushing yourself, and then, enjoy the fruits of your labor. What I love is that I still have many more years to grow as both a school counselor and actor. In fact, the two go quite well together. A school counselor, after all, is often on a stage, engaging his or her audience. An actor must understand emotions, motivations, and interpersonal communication...well, my job lets me work on that all day!
What are your special hobbies? What are you going to find the courage to do this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section, friends. :)